Sunday, August 26th, 2007

Wow, school starts tomorrow! The stress level is pretty high here today. We have kids at five different schools this year: high school, jr. high, elementary, kindergarten and preschool. In addition to school we have 8 sports, 7 music lessons, allergy shots, 3 scout troops, ballet and the dozens of other things that come up in a week. I have 37 places I have to drive to and from. I am truly scared. How am I going to do it all? I am so afraid I will leave kids places and forget things. I am especially worried that I’ll be so stressed and overtired that I’ll offend everyone I meet and have no friends by the end of the year. Hopefully, it will all work out. Sweet Hansie just read this and said, “Of course it will work out mom, everything always does.”
We had a good week. It was a desparate rush to get ready for school and squeeze the last bit of fun out of summer. So in addition to 5 different back-to-school events, school shopping, cleaning the basement and deciding which school to put Xander in we also went swimming, hiking to Doughnut Falls, to the Harry Potter IMAX movie, played tennis, played with friends a LOT and went out to dinner. We moved the kids mattresses back up to their bedrooms (they slept in the basement all summer to keep cool and simply for the party atmosphere) and sorted through all the school clothes– we found masses of clothes to take to the African refugees.
Mary doing a little modeling:

We went shopping for school supplies Friday. Everyone but Ben packed into the car for Smith’s Marketplace. Ben, was of course, too busy living it up with his friends to take part in something as dull as school supply shopping and simply wrote me a long, detailed list and taped his favorite pencil onto the list so that I could buy dozens just like it. And then he had the gall to ask that I check out the shoes to see if he might like any.

The parking lot was blazing hot and of course Gabe and Mary had no shoes and had to be carried in whining and crying. We met our perfectly groomed, freshly manicured neighbor as we fought over which kind of shipping cart to get(the little kids always want the truck carts because they can sit in front and pretend like they are driving– I never let them have those because they jump out every 30 seconds and terrorize the grocery store. but they still ask every time.) When I told her we were BTS shopping she gasped and said, “I hope it doesn’t cost as much as it did for my two kids! We spent over $100!” I looked at her in dismay as Mary had a wild screming fit over the cart and said, “um, I have six kids. It’s expensive.” Then I felt guilty the rest of the day for being snippy with her.

Hans had the longest list in the school supply section– his teacher has all sorts of detailed requests like,”black ink permanent market with a very fine tip”, “pencil sharpener that contains it’s own shavings”, “spare white sock to for dry erase board”–ha! like I have to buy that. We have a whole basketfull of orphan socks at home. As I deciphered Hansie’s list, Stefan, Xander and Gabriel ran of selecting their own school supplies. I guess I’ve spent too many years telling them they can’t put what ever they want in the cart because they asked my permission for even the simplest of purchases, ” Mom can I get an eraser?” “Can I buy pencils?” “Mom- I need some paper is that OK?” YES! JUST PUT IT IN THE CART!

After an hour in the school supply section we shopped for school lunch supplies. As we stood in front of the fruit packs I queried, “Do you want applesauce? Do you want pears? Do you want cute little mandarin oranges?” They hemmed and hawed over the monumental decision until I said,”Just tell me what you want!” Gabriel immediately broke into song and dance in the grocery store aisle–“Just tell me what you want, what you really really want. I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want.” We all broke out laughing and that was pretty much the highlight of the week.

Ben tried out for the Chamber Orchestra at Skyline and made it! It’s a really big deal– helps a lot with getting college scholarships and they get to travel to Chicago this year.

Kit and Kevin came over Friday night and brought darling Ryn and Baby Elle. We had way too much fun eating dinner, playing hide-n-seek, ring-around-the-rosy 97 times for Ryn, swapping stories and laughing until 11:30 p.m. I think we’d almost forgotten how much fun we have together. The boys were just in love with Baby Elle and Ryn loved all the energy and excitement in a house of older children.

I pray I survive this week. Hopefully everything will work out beautifully!
August 19, 2007
September 2, 2007